July 6, 2009 3:36:07 pm
The Gujarat High Court judge hearing the petition challenging the probe by special investigation team (SIT) against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 62 others,on Monday declined from hearing the case.
When the matter came up for hearing in the court of Justice H N Devani she said,”not before me” and declined to hear the matter due to some personal reasons. The case will now be referred to another court based on instruction by the High Court Chief Justice.
The petition was filed last month by former BJP MLA from Lunavada Kalubai Hirabhai Malivad against the probe by Supreme Court-appointed SIT with regard to a complaint made by Zakia Jaffrey,in which she has alleged that Modi,his cabinet colleagues,police officials and senior bureaucrats aided and abetted post-Godhra riots of 2002.
Zakia’s husband ex-MP Ehsan Jaffrey was killed during the 2002 riots in Gulburg society along with 39 others.
The Apex court had ordered the SIT to probe the complaint within three months and submit its report.
Malivad,one of the persons named in Zakia’s complaint,in his petition had demanded stay on investigations and directions from the court to restrain SIT from arresting persons named in the complaint including Modi.
Raising legal question on the investigation being carried out by SIT,Malivad had contended that the Apex court had asked SIT to “look into” the complaint,and this does not empower it to investigate the case as per provisions of CrPC,as there is no FIR registered in this matter.
Last month,following the notice from the High Court SIT had filed a reply to Malivad’s petition in the form of an affidavit and said that the exercise undertaken by them in connection with the Supreme Court’s order on Zakia Jaffery’s complaint was a “preliminary inquiry” as per law.
The affidavit filed by SIT Convenor Geetha Johri stated that the probe by the agency was as per Supreme Court orders and was permissible,even though there was no FIR lodged in the matter,or court orders,under provisions of Section 173(8) or 202 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
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